My husband and I have been riding vintage Harleys all over the western US for the past 35 years.
A Motorcycle (And Camping) Journey to Sturgis
Here we are with the 1947 Knucklehead, ready to go. When the bike was all packed, that was one seriously wide load.
We rode through Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We rode through 100° F heat and we weathered thunderstorms and hail in our trusty little tent. You can see it in the silver bag in the photo above.
When traveling on a motorcycle, we love to camp along the way. When riding and breaking camp every day, you just can't beat a 60 second tent. This is one piece of equipment I would not do without.
We rode and camped all the way to Sturgis, South Dakota. That is 1200 miles from our home in northern California!
Camping With a 60-Second Tent
My husband and I have been riding vintage Harleys for the past 30 years. We never use a chase truck, but usually travel alone and carry everything we need with us. We travel long distances on the motorcycle and camped along the way, so we pitched the tent every night and break camp every morning.
The 60 Second Tent makes setting up camp so much quicker and easier. It's great for when you pull in late at night, or when bad weather suddenly hits. You'll be snug in bed while everyone else is still looking for their tent poles.
The 60 Second Tent is made just like a regular dome tent except the poles are already inserted and they just fold up. You unfold the tent and lock the hinges in place and you're ready for bed. It folds up slightly bigger and heavier than a regular dome tent, but the ease of setting up this pop-up tent makes it well worth the small amount of extra weight.
When we are traveling with other bikes, we pull into a campground and throw up our tent. While everyone else is still setting up, we're kicking back having a beer. Besides that, I can't tell you how many couples I've seen get in a huge argument over setting up the tent. This tent might even save your relationship.
We could get by with a regular dome tent if we were staying a few days, but when traveling and breaking camp every day, I just wouldn't do without one of these. We got this tent about fifteen years ago. We have used the hell out of this thing, and it's still going strong.
It would be great for car camping, too. It's probably not ideal for backpacking since it is a little heavier than a regular dome tent.
The 60 Second Tent in Action
Our Sturgis Trip in Photos
Other Compact Gear for Camping
The Amazing Pocket Chair
When you're camping, sometimes it's hard to find a place to sit. Your butt can get sore sitting on the rough, hard ground. With space so limited, it can be challenging to find a portable seat to carry on your motorcycle.
I saw the pocket chair on TV, and I just had to get one. It is really amazing. It folds up very small and flat. It is perfect for throwing in the saddlebags, and I have seen it hold a 250-pound man.
It doesn't really fit in your pocket, but it fits in the saddlebags just fine.
Pocket Chair in Action
Sleeping Bag: Down or Fiberfill
A warm and compact sleeping bag is a must have item when you are sleeping outdoors. You have two choices when it comes to a good sleeping bag. Down is really the warmest material for its size and weight, but it loses its ability to insulate if it gets wet.
Synthetic fiberfill is almost as efficient as down, and it performs better if it gets wet. It is also more economical.
Whichever one you choose, they can both be squeezed into a tiny stuff sack, making them good choices for motorcycle camping.
Compact Camp Stove
Even if you don't plan to cook, it's nice to have a way to at least boil water for coffee in the morning. This Pocket Stove is my favorite to take when traveling on a motorcycle.
It is inexpensive, very light and compact, so it won't take up much room. It uses solid fuel tablets; they are much safer to carry in the saddlebags than liquid or gas fuel. It's very simple, so there is not much on it to break.
Enjoy the Ride!
If you have not been motorcycle camping, I hope you'll try it. If you have, I hope I've given you some new ideas to make your next adventure even more enjoyable. Be safe out there.
© 2012 shewins
Have you been motorcycle camping?
shewins (author) on November 13, 2014:
80glyde - Wow, thanks for visiting and leaving such a great comment. It sounds like you've had some adventures. I love hearing from a fellow motorcycle camper.
80glyde on November 02, 2014:
Have ŕode two wheels forever all over the US theirs no other way to travel / camp (although the older i get i find motels are nice ) never thought id say that! Still won't never will trailer her ! Long story short. Years ago out of a scooter catalog bought a tent called a SST sixty second tent.best dam tent ever !!! it doesn't even take that long to set up. Then you just watch and listen to your buds fight n cus there dome. Bought years ago? Don't really know maybe 20 made very well. Its time to buy another one. Anyone considering new 2/3 man tent buy this. got one of those fold up seats toobuy em ! Sturgis 8×s Daytona 2xs new Orleans 2xs Texas & cal a lot SST Went too
Dancing Cowgirl Design from Texas on November 27, 2013:
No I have never been. I have only been on a motorcycle twice, just for a short ride around the block. Looks like yall have a lot of fun times.
shewins (author) on August 15, 2013:
@mathew31: Have fun mathew31. You should be able to take all the comforts of home with you then.
mathew31 on August 14, 2013:
Not motorcycle camping, just car camping! I'm going camping this weekend actually.
anonymous on June 28, 2013:
I've never been on motor cycle camping, but it seems an exciting activity. The video clip is very helpful. Thanks for sharing.
gadifi lm on May 16, 2013:
I never have but we always loved camping and to travel by motorbike and camp it would be an experience with the wind in your face and sleeping in the fresh air
anonymous on May 12, 2013:
I have never been, but I enjoyed your story and pics!
James Jordan from Burbank, CA on May 12, 2013:
My folks travel all around north america on their bmw. I will forward this lens in case they need a new tent!
Takkhis on April 12, 2013:
Hi! I like riding motorcycle and don't stay out for long, i get back to home timely! I really like the photos :)
kabbalah lm on December 28, 2012:
Pretty cool. I have 3 bikes in the garage and a Harley on my list for the spring. I've never gone for more than a day trip. I should try a camping trip
shewins (author) on December 28, 2012:
@endamclarnon: I looked at that Quechua tent that you mentioned. It looks like it's one of those springy pop-up tents. They're not really the same, they don't have the hinged poles. They may be great, I've never used one, so I don't know.
Enda McLarnon from Belfast, Ireland on November 25, 2012:
I use a Quechua tent which is very similar to these for camping and it works great. Looks like you had a great trip.